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S. Korean entertainment field on alert amid deadly virus outbreak

National 13:39 January 29, 2020

SEOUL, Jan. 29 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean entertainment and broadcasting industries have been on full alert amid continued concerns over the Chinese coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 130 people and spread to many other countries and regions, industry sources said Wednesday.

An increasing number of entertainment agencies have decided to defer live concerts at which hundreds of fans would come into contact with each other and run the risk of being infected with the virus that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

K-pop boy group Super Junior canceled two concerts scheduled for Tuesday to mark the release of its ninth full-length "repackage album." Originally, 400 fans had been invited to the concerts, dubbed "Super Junior The Stage," to be held in Goyang, near Seoul.

Label SJ, the band's management agency, decided Monday not to open the planned concerts to the public "due to the situation involving worries about virus infection."

South Korean star actor Kim Soo-hyun, who is popular in China, will call off a fan meeting in Seoul on Feb. 9 that around 1,000 fans were expected to attend. The fan meeting was also designed to encourage Chinese fans to stay at a Seoul hotel.

Fears about the virus have also compelled South Korean singer Kang Sung-hoon to postpone fan meetings scheduled for Feb. 14 and 15, and Top Media, the management agency for singer Kim Woo-seok, has postponed the start of ticket sales, set for Thursday, for a similar meet and greet on Feb. 22.

Entertainment agencies have been canceling events in China involving South Korean singers in response to requests from fans increasingly worried about their safety amid the virus rapidly spreading in the neighboring country.

Fans of boy group SF9 have called for the group's agency to cancel or postpone a fan meeting on March 14 in Qingdao, northeastern China, where SF9 was due to sign autographs. Fans of boy group NCT Dream are following suit, asking its management agency to reschedule concerts on Feb. 7 and 8 in Macao.

K-pop boy band Super Junior poses for a photo during a showcase for the group's ninth album, "Time_Slip," at a stadium in Seoul on Oct. 13, 2019, in this photo provided by Label SJ. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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